Indies Today 5* NETHERWORLD review


“A seductive reflection on ambition, desire and tortured journeys…”

“Americans don’t have royalty… We have rich people. Business and tech genii. And we have Hollywood, which will have to do.” Book 2 in Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt’s sweeping Pride’s Children series, Netherworld, pulls readers back into Hollywood’s kaleidoscopic underbelly as we catch up with Bianca, Andrew, and Kary. Bianca, a go-getter in every sense of the word, refuses to be held back by convention. Determined to claim her rightful spot among the elite, she will stop at nothing to get everything she wants. Among those wanted things are an award-worthy directorial debut, unchallenged respect, and Andrew O’Connell. Discernment, however, is not one of Andrew’s more dominant qualities. If the tabloids are to be believed, his temper often gets the better of him and women are his weakness, but he works harder than anyone in Hollywood, making him the man of the hour. Kary is neck-deep in edits as she finishes her first science-fiction novel, copes with an unrelenting illness, and tamps down unwelcomed emotions for Andrew. But when Andrew calls on Kary for help, even her persistent medical condition can’t keep her from reentering Andrew’s exhausting circle. With separate goals, morals and priorities, the three will have to figure out an equitable arrangement because their paths continue to cross, partly by happenstance, but mostly by design.

“In Hollywood, where skin is the currency and everyone is looking to collect their pound of flesh, relationships aren’t always what they look like on the cover of a flashy magazine. Netherworld takes advantage of every opportunity to exploit and expose what goes on behind closed doors. The narration moves at the speed of thought, making it a gratifying challenge to get inside the head of each character, and agile readers will be rewarded with an intoxicating story that tugs the heart in many directions. A masterclass in character-driven novelism, Netherworld showcases three complex characters, building fissures of depth within them and giving each their own moment in the spotlight. An unlikely favorite is Bianca Doyle, a calculating woman who proves to be so much more than the vapid ingenue she seems to be. For those who love getting absorbed in the worlds of writing or filmmaking, Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt expertly guides readers on a deep dive into these fields, replete with all the melodrama and manipulations the scenes demand. So realistic are the conversations and situations that you’ll forget you’re reading a novel and instead believe you’re enjoying a cup of coffee with Kary at her Sanctuary. A seductive reflection on ambition, desire and tortured journeys, Netherworld is an honest look at finding love in a complicated world.”

What are Editorial Reviews?

FIRST, Editorial reviews are a different category from Customer reviews on Amazon, because there are two main differences: Editorial reviews are PAID for – by the publisher, usually (possibly more common before all the purse-tightening) OR by the author.

and,

SECOND, Editorial reviews are provided by a professional in the business. Commonly known are reviews from newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times and organizations in the review BUSINESS, such as Kirkus (which have their own publications, and have realized there is money to be made from self-published authors, whom they now cater to at the cost of $495.00 last time I checked).

Reviews from professional sources are NEVER guaranteed. How this is enforced, I have no idea. Are reviewers influenced by publishers who spend advertising revenue with them? I have no idea.

What do you do with Editorial Reviews?

Because Editorial Reviews are a different beast, Amazon has a separate section where they can be posted on the book’s Amazon product page, before the customer reviews. If you are an SPA, you do it yourself (there’s that odd self-praising conundrum we face); I believe you can also do it IF your publisher won’t pay for the editorial review but will allow you to do so for the book they publish for you (haven’t checked, since that’s not my situation).

Ms. Jackson’s complimentary review is now ensconced on the ebook and paperback pages for NETHERWORLD on Amazon (for some odd reason you have to do this separately for each format; these are identical).

I don’t know what the standards are for self-publishing (SP) PAID reviews, but there is often an option to refuse to have the review published if is completely unsatisfactory to the author, and otherwise authors may quote appropriate phrases but the complete review is also published by the organization.

Is there room for misquoting? Yes – most readers won’t go look at the source UNLESS they happen to become disenchanted with the book – but deliberate misquoting is frowned upon.

To keep their SP customer base coming back, these reviews usually have SOMETHING quotable that is positive.

I haven’t checked, but assume the organization can refuse to produce a review for various reasons. “If you can’t say SOMETHING nice, don’t say anything at all.”

IMPORTANT: what next?

What do you do after you’ve received a review like this? Say THANKS! Professionally, politely, through proper channels, because you have been given a gift, and gifts must be acknowledged.

So I did. I hope she sees it – I don’t know if the organization forwards emails – or thanks – to its reviewers. Anything more personal than proper channels is asking to make a relationship more personal which should remain professional, for the future. The editorial reviewer is not your fan or reader, and shouldn’t be: it’s a job. And one in which the reviewer shouldn’t be unduly influenced.

Dear Indies Today:

Please convey my thanks to Jennifer Jackson, reviewer extraordinaire, for the beautifully written – and 100% accurate – review she created for Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD.

In a day when editorial reviews make a huge impact on the discoverability and marketability of new novels, this one warmed my heart. More than anything else, I love that she understands what I’m trying to write, and why these characters.

Many thanks.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

**********

If this sounds like your kind of fiction, Pride’s Children: PURGATORY and Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD are available at Amazon. (as soon as I have the bandwidth of energy, I’ll figure out how to do a universal link for each)

And a Prequel short story, Pride’s Children: TOO LATE, is available on this blog.

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